Linking Back

Artist Statement

I have simultaneously felt an escalating curiosity about, and connection to the past and have been drawn back through time, beyond my family and ancestors, beyond recorded history to the dawn of humankind and the animals that preceded humans.

Bones are what remain after we die, but they are, for me, an expression of longing to be identified with something beyond myself, something planetary. I feel mystery, reverence, and awe in the presence of these fossilized remains. What is ancient reminds me of our deep connection to nature and each other, a bond easily lost in our fast-paced, high tech lives.

"Linking Back" addresses concepts of time, wherein bones from a time in pre-history are in dialogue with the twenty-first century, through my manipulations of the images. Incorporating human x-rays in some of the images enhances the dialogue and connection.

These archeological abstractions sit on the boundary between painting and photography. The art begins with black-and-white images of segments of vertebrate fossils, primarily marine life, and then the boundaries of traditional technique are pushed dramatically to augment the historical roots of the work. Negatives are often marked upon, and prints are over- or under-developed or -exposed. solarized, or negatively printed in order to achieve the desired result. Bleaches are used on finished prints in ways reminiscent of an archeological dig, in which years are cleared away, and toners are applied in painterly ways to create unusual colors. After further transforming the art through collage, wax is added and worked into, creating rich, tactile surfaces, through which earlier layers can be seen. Multiple layers reflect the passage of time, as well as layers of space and distance--our distant selves.

I hope these instinctual, archetypal forms tap into deeper, unconscious forces in us and stimulate a conversation between the ancient and contemporary. Genetic science reminds us of the incredible similarities between our genes and those of other living creatures. Saying "I feel it in my bones" reminds us that history - the history of the world, in fact - is in us.